Hearing aids take time and patience to use successfully. It can take up to three months to get used to new hearing aids. What you experience will depend on your hearing loss, your lifestyle needs and how much you wear your hearing aids. Wearing your aids regularly will help you adjust to them.
Become familiar with your hearing aid’s features. With your audiologist present, practice putting in and taking out the aid, cleaning it, identifying right and left aids, and replacing the batteries. Learn to adjust the aid’s volume and to program it for sounds that are too loud or too soft. Your brain will begin to register sounds that it has not heard well for some time. So you might feel tired by listening or overwhelmed by new noises. But, as you carry on using your new hearing aids, your brain learns to recognize the new sounds and they become more comfortable. You may experience some of the following problems as you adjust to wearing your new hearing aid.
- Hearing aid feels uncomfortable: Some individuals may find a hearing aid to be slightly uncomfortable at first. Ask your audiologist how long you should wear your hearing aid while you are adjusting to it.
- Voice sounds too loud: The “plugged-up” sensation that causes a hearing aid user’s voice to sound louder inside the head is called the occlusion effect, and it is very common for new hearing aid users. Check with your audiologist to see if a correction is possible. Most individuals get used to this effect over time.
- Feedback from hearing aid: A whistling sound can be caused by a hearing aid that does not fit or work well or is clogged by earwax or fluid. See your audiologist for adjustments.
- Background noise: A hearing aid does not completely separate the sounds you want to hear from the ones you do not want to hear. Sometimes, however, the hearing aid may need to be adjusted. Talk with your audiologist.
- Buzzing sound when I use my cell phone: Some people who wear hearing aids or have implanted hearing devices experience problems with the radio frequency interference caused by digital cell phones. Both hearing aids and cell phones are improving, however, so these problems are occurring less often. When you are being fitted for a new hearing aid, take your cell phone with you to see if it will work well with the aid.